Miller County is facing the same upward trend as the state as numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 trend upward, prompting health officials to remind the general public to mask up and take precautions to avoid exposure.

Miller County is facing the same upward trend as the state as numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 trend upward, prompting health officials to remind the general public to mask up and take precautions to avoid exposure.
As of  Nov. 14, the Miller County Health Department was reporting a record number of positive results hospitalizations and quarantined cases. The county has over  1,300 confirmed cases, of which more than 700 are from the last four weeks.
According to the health department that means Miller County has had more cases in the last month that what was reported since their first case in the spring. Miller County currently has 176 active cases and more than 700 people who are currently quarantined close contacts. So far, the county has reported 35 deaths, with 30 of those being age 65 or above.
The latest numbers available from the health department show 18 Miller County residents are currently hospitalized or were as of the weekend.
The Miller County Health Center has employed several contact tracers to assure follow up with every new case within 48 hours of receiving the lab report. The health department is asking residents to be sure to answer any calls from the department and return calls as soon as possible.
The health department is encouraging residents to follow protocols if they test positive.  If you have been told by your health care provider that you are positive and not heard from the county within five days from the test date, give the health department a call. After your provider tells you that you are positive, determine who your close contacts are and let them know you exposed them. Close contacts are people who came within six feet of a positive case for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, or anyone you’ve ridden in a car with, had a meal with, or had more intimate exposure such as a hug or kiss.
Testing is available at every health care provider in Miller County. For a free test, go to https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/ to register and select a location. Additional free testing is available from Central Ozarks Medical Center on Wednesday afternoons in Richland and Thursday afternoons in Camdenton (www.centralozarks.org). A negative test does not shorten or remove your responsibility to quarantine.

The health department said the increase in cases can be attributed to several reasons:
•Virus fatigue: we are all are more relaxed and not being as careful, or just don’t care
•Increase of social gatherings without distancing or wearing masks: most report attending a gathering of friends or family, participating in a wedding, funeral, church event, or birthday parties.
•Accessibility of rapid testing: knowing your result in just a few minutes might be an incentive to seek testing.
•People continuing to go to work or school with mild allergy or flu like symptoms that are also COVID symptoms.
•Now that the days are shorter, people are moving inside, increasing the risk of exposure.